Claire Anne Taylor
interview and photography by Natalie Grono
Please tell me about yourself.
I am a Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist and Treasure hunter.
What is your age?
I am 25 years old
What is your star sign?
I am a virgo.
What are your passions and inspirations?
My passions involve seeking out magical moments. These little moments can be anything from singing a song in a storm or sharing a laugh with someone to sleeping under the stars or dancing in the rain.
One of my biggest inspirations is my cousin Jaqui. She is incredibly generous and loving and she always seems to make time for everyone else before herself. She inspires me to love more, to give more and to laugh more.
What are your fears?
My greatest fear is the thought of losing the ones that are dearest to me and not being able to cope without them. I feel like that is one of the toughest challenges we face as individuals in our lifetimes. But I also feel that without this fear we might not treasure those dearest to us and we might not squeeze each other quite as hard when we hug.
What are your dreams?
I dream of making people feel something profound through my music and making positive changes, even if they are small, to those around me. I also dream of one day building a little recording studio of my own in the bush in Tasmania, where I was born. That way, I will have the freedom and space to record my own songs in the peace and comfort of my own home.
What have been the defining moments of your life? How did these moments change you and how did you work through them?
The first memory I have is dancing in kindergarten and having my grandparents, Jack and Claire, come to watch me. It was the last time they ever made it over to Tasmania to visit us and I remember feeling so proud to have them there. A sweet nostalgia.
When I was nine years old I found my Mum lying on her back in our orchard crying and she explained to me that her Mother had just passed away. This was the first time I had seen her so vulnerable. This memory stayed with me for years after.
When my Mum became really sick in my early teenage years and we thought we were going to lose her. I have never felt so frightened.
The first time I sang in front of an audience. I was 16 years old and it was my high school end of year concert. I felt a real sense of elation and achievement to finally share that part of me that I had been hiding for so long.
Sailing through ice fjords in Patagonia in my early twenties as part of a year of University exchange was a brave and exciting adventure for me. It sparked my desire to venture into more remote places in the world.
What was your childhood like?
What are you grateful for?
I was born in a barn in the bush in Tasmania. I am the youngest of six children born to my parents Robert and Anne. Growing up, we were like bush babies, with our summer days spent running barefoot through the rainforest, building huts made out of sticks and ferns, climbing trees and swimming in the rivers and dams. We lived amongst a community of friends and family and they raised us with our bellies full of home-grown veggies and our hearts full of love. Music played a big part in our lives. I always felt like the instruments were a part of the furniture in our home and I remember singing songs in the kitchen beside the fire. I am so grateful for my upbringing and for the freedom and love I experienced as a child. I now see how rare it is to grow up the way I did and I feel so lucky for it.
What breaks your heart?
When I see people act out of hatred and fear and treat others disrespectfully and with disdain.
What mends your heart?
The sound of my Mother’s voice.
What makes you smile or laugh?
Spending time with my wild and wonderful family brings a lot of laughter out of me. When we all get together around Christmas time it sounds like a choir of cackling parrots going at it and just the sound of the laughter alone instigates more laughter.
Where is your dream destination?
I have always dreamt of travelling to Ireland one day and living in a cottage in the country in County Clare. One day I will get there and when I do I am going to sit and write folk songs and live off nothing but Irish whiskey, soup and music for a whole year.
Do you have wisdom to share? What is your message?
One thing I have learnt is to never be too proud to make a fool of yourself. Some of my greatest learning has come from being willing to admit that I don’t know the answer to the question. It is refreshing to be honest and upfront and I often find that I learn more from having this attitude.
I believe that we should never be afraid to love. Even if it hurts you or someone else, it is worth the pain of it all. If you can honestly say that you managed to love in your lifetime, that’s all that really matters.
What or whom is your muse?
Well actually the name of this beautiful blog ‘The Moon and the Muse’ really resonates with me because the moon is my muse. I am particularly in tune with the moon and I often find that my creative energy is directly influenced by her waxing and waning. I have even written a song called ‘I Blame the Moon’ and it is a love story about feeling swayed by the power of the moon.
The most inspirational book, movie, album or artwork to you would be?
There are too many forms of art that have inspired me in my lifetime to name. Countless albums that have shaped me as a human and inspired me to pursue my own journey in music. Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’, Tom Waits’ ‘Swordfishtrombones’ and Gregory Alan Isakov’s ‘This Empty Northern Hemisphere’, to name a few. One moment of inspiration that stands out in my mind as particularly poignant was seeing a Claude Monet exhibition in Melbourne a few years ago. Standing in front of one of his luminescent waterlily paintings that towered over me, I was moved to tears and I stood there and wept silently and joyously to myself because I felt like I understood the gravity and importance of making art and pursuing creativity for art’s sake. Here was a man who had devoted his whole life to his craft and achieved something truly magical and to witness this in the flesh was overwhelming.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud of finishing my first album. It is something I have always dreamt of doing, so to finally compete the album is a very satisfying feeling.
What do you do for yourself ?
I write songs. When I pick up the guitar and I sing it is like a release for me. Music keeps me going because it helps me process all my thoughts and emotions and allows me to tap into my strength and vulnerability, which are equally important to me.
Where is your local sacred location?
One of the first places I visited when I first moved to the Northern Rivers area was Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head. The tea tree lake, with its dark, tea-coloured water feels like silken heaven on your skin and I have found myself back there for many a sun and moon-lit bathe. There is something indescribably soothing about that place and it has become my little piece of heaven in the area.
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